Timber Fram Extensions

If you’re looking for quality timber frame extension builders near you in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland or North Tyneside, it’s important to do your research. There are many factors to consider when selecting the right contractor for the job, so here are five expert tips to help you make an informed decision.

Timber Frames

Research Your Prospective Providers.

Start your search by researching local timber frame extension builders to make sure they have the required qualifications and experience for the job. See if any of your family or friends have used a builder before and ask them for their recommendation. Read reviews from previous customers and take time to check out the portfolios of prospective providers in order to get a sense of their services and quality of work. You can also check with a relevant trade association such as The Federation of Master Builders or The National Federation of Builders to ensure that any builder you choose has the proper credentials.

Take a Look at Their Portfolio of Work.

Get an understanding of the types of projects they’ve undertaken in the past and take time to review their portfolio of work. Make sure to look for attention to detail, high quality materials, and visual consistency throughout their projects. Ensure that the builder has demonstrated experience in building timber frame extensions on a similar scale as your project and ask them about any relevant certifications or qualifications. This will help you determine whether the builder can be relied upon for quality workmanship when it comes to your own extension.

Inquire About Their Quality Assurance Processes.

Ask the builder about their practices to ensure the best possible outcome for your timber frame extension. Quality builders will have strict protocols for quality assurance, including quality control inspections during every stage of construction to make sure that everything is functioning and built correctly. The builder should also be able to provide evidence and documentation of any work that has been undertaken, as well as a warranty on their workmanship as part of an overall quality control plan.

Building a Timber Frame Extension

Read the Fine Print in Any Quotations You Receive.

Carefully go through any written quotation you receive from timber frame extension builders and read the fine print. Some quotes may not include certain items that are typically present in such a project (e.g. labour costs). Make sure to clarify anything that is missing or seemingly inaccurate so that you don’t end up spending more money than expected. Moreover, ensure that all of the building materials used are of a high quality and always ask for reviews or references if necessary.

Ensure All Employees Have Up-To-Date Trade Qualifications and Insurance Coverage.

It’s imperative that the timber frame extension builders you employ have up-to-date trade qualifications and appropriate insurance in order to guarantee the longevity of your project. Ensure that all employees have the required qualifications to carry out tasks on the build and check whether they are an accredited builder to further enhance the quality of their work. Additionally, make sure that a liability policy is in place so that you have financial protection should anything go wrong during or after construction.

Ask our Team of Experts for Professional, Honest Advice.

At Acre Design Newcastle, we have worked with a number of builders over the years. We would be delighted to advice you on finding the right timber frame extension builder in Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside and throughout the North East of England. Book and Ask the Expert Call today to talk to us!

2021 Building Materials

The cost of building material in 2021

It is no secret that the cost of building materials has risen sharply over the past year. For companies working in the construction industry, sourcing materials at a competitive price has often been a challenge due to a lack of supply and steeply rising costs. All construction firms large and small have witnessed this impact. For residential and commercial customers requiring building work, there is no denying that the cost of materials has increased prices overall. While it is still possible to provide customers with value for money, unfortunately, higher material costs inevitably mean paying more — at least in the short term.

There are several reasons for this, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020/21. But other issues, such as the uncertainty and extra paperwork surrounding ‘Brexit’, leading to longer lead times for deliveries from the continent, have also had an impact. Similarly, issues surrounding the supply chain and a lack of lorry drivers have played a part. As has the so-called ‘pingdemic’ of workers self-isolating due to coronavirus. This ‘perfect storm’ of factors has resulted in a shortage of supply of materials and greater demand, which in turn has skyrocketed prices to levels we have not seen for decades.

In the UK, construction is one of the few industries that continued to fully operate throughout the coronavirus crisis. Demand for materials has therefore been consistently high throughout this entire period. And since approximately 60% of building materials are imported from the EU, this has created even greater challenges. Supply chains have been strained and uncertainty surrounding Brexit means suppliers have had their own challenges to deal with.

Timber, roofing tiles, bagged cement, and even steel are among the building materials that have seen significant price rises due to insufficient supply. The cost of timber, in particular, has increased considerably. Imported plywood, for example, is almost 30% more costly than it was at this time last year, according to data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Industry experts predict that material prices will continue to be inflated in the latter part of 2021 and possibly into next 2022. As production increases, we may see prices eventually levelling out, especially if supply chain issues are resolved.

As part of our mission to keep our customers updated with industry developments, we will continue to monitor the situation. For more information on the cost of building materials or to find out how we can help design your next residential building development, get in touch with us at Acre Design on 0191 680 8088 or e-mail Our friendly, experienced staff are waiting to take your call.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative.
Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free feasibility discussion with Alistair. 

Robie Evans

Senior Architect Joins the Team at Acre Design

Last week, we welcomed Robbie Evans, a Senior Architect based in Newcastle, to our team of creatives at Acre Design. Robbie is going to be an asset to our team and we can’t wait to share some of his projects with you – keep an eye on our Recent Projects page.

I asked Robbie a few questions to give you an insight into his values and background as an Architect…

What inspired you to become an Architect?

This is always a tough question as I’m not completely sure. I think subconsciously it was from my childhood. My neighbour was a builder and was constantly renovating and extending his house and I used to go over and help. As I got a bit older though, I decided that I was more interested in the design aspect, rather than the hands-on labour.

What are essential qualities that an Architect should have?

A good eye for detail, good communication skills, both verbally and visually. But most importantly be able to party. We work hard, but we play harder!

Where did you study and what were your highlights from your student years?

I completed my entire architectural education at Newcastle University. The highlight of this was being involved in a live build project as part of my Masters degree.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

My biggest highlight would be the live build project in Kielder Forest. I was part of a team of 9 students that designed and then built a new bird hide on the edge of Bakethin Reservoir in Kielder.

What do you love most about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is the process of designing something tangible. Taking the client on a journey from an initial idea in their head and making it a reality for them.

What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the future are all about progression and making myself the best Architect I can be. There is always something new to learn and that is what makes the job so exciting.

Are you concerned about environmental and social sustainability in your work?

Absolutely. As an Architect we have a duty of care and need to think about the wider impact of our work. It is not all about providing beautiful architecture for the client.

Who inspires you?

Personally, I think the people around me (colleagues, friends, family) are the ones that inspire me most. They are the people that will always provide support and advice and push you to produce your best.

What are the most interesting recent developments in architecture?

I think the most important developments in architecture are to do with the improvements in materials and technology that enable us as designers to create beautiful designs that are sustainable. The regulations are becoming more stringent with a big change coming in 2025 to lead the construction industry in the UK to net zero carbon figures.

Tell us a bit about yourself… What are your hobbies and interests outside work?

Outside of work I enjoy cooking, eating and drinking as standard, but I also enjoy DIY. I plan to get into a little bit of property developing alongside Architecture in the next few years. I have also recently started making furniture as a little side hustle in my spare time.

Robbie Evans Designs

"Robbie(You can check out Robbie’s furniture and DIY on his awesome Instagram page here)

If you had just one piece of advice for an aspiring architect, what would it be?

Try it out first, and get some work experience. It is a highly rewarding job and a great career, but it is also a massive commitment. You are setting yourself up for 7 years more of education and learning at university to become qualified and you need to make sure it’s 100% what you want to do.

Thanks, Robbie!

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free feasibility discussion with Alistair. 

Useful Rainwater System Information

Some helpful rainwater system advice from Yeonman rainguard

We love working with other local businesses to help provide our clients with the best advice possible. Here, Yeoman Rainguard give us their tips on choosing the right rainwater system for your self-build, home extension or house renovation project…

Yeoman Rainguard‘s head office and warehouse is based in Leeds and they have been providing quality rainwater systems for over 30 years. They are happy to discuss any project in detail from initial concept for new developments to full surveys for existing projects or refurbishment.

Yeoman Rainguard

There’s an abundance of choice when it comes to selecting rainwater systems, with a wide variety of aesthetically pleasing products available for any building project. However, it’s important to consider the environmental hazards your project will be exposed to when deciding on the right system.

While aesthetics are important, selecting guttering and downpipes require a deeper consideration of the environment the system is going into. You’ll need to consider:

  • If your project is taking place in a heritage or conservation area – you may need to select a material that respects the original character of a property
  • Level of water flow – in areas that receive heavy rainfall, some materials will be better suited.
  • Snow load – again, when snow and ice are a factor your material selection will be affected.
  • Expected lifecycle – some materials offer a longer lifecycle and more lasting durability but may come at an increased cost.

Yeoman RainguardGuarding Against Weather

Protect your property from the ingress of water by selecting a durable rainwater system that guards against water damage and damp. Combining aesthetic value with durability is important – as even the best-looking system must also be able to handle heavy downpours.

A good system must also be able to retain its aesthetics when the sun comes out not discolouring or cracking when the temperature rises. One that can withstand a heavy snow load if required without becoming misshapen and which is also the right size to take the water flow from your roof.

Heritage and Durability Through Metal

All the above considered, a metal rainwater system is the only way to attain the right combination of hardwearing durability and aesthetic properties that can withstand the factors we’ve covered.

However, there are lots of different choices when it comes to metal guttering. How do you select the right one for your project? We’ve broken it down for you:


Aluminium guttering is supplied with either a smooth or textured finish adding a stylish touch. The range of gutter profiles, pipe shapes and sizes along with a choice of colours and ornate accessories such as ear bands, will help to tailor this product to the character of your dwelling.

A deep flow gutter is available to cope with high volumes of water flow from the roof, avoiding overflow and splashing.

The gutters will also be strong enough to accommodate heavy snow loads – through the addition of extra fixing brackets in areas of concern is recommended.

The addition of a joint clip fixing method on the gutters which doesn’t require mechanical fixings or welding joints will make it both quicker and easier to install. Aluminium offers a long service life of over 30 years and is fully recyclable.

Cast Iron

This classical rainwater system which has been popular since the 1700s is acceptable for use on listed and heritage buildings. A heavier material than aluminium, cast iron guttering offers the same durable properties with a 40-year or more life expectancy, however, a small amount of maintenance such as repainting can further extend this.

A range of traditional gutter profiles, and decorative ear bands along with the addition of stylish rainwater hoppers can certainly ensure that the feel of old and historical buildings is reflected.

Cast iron is fully recyclable and through the natural oxidisation process, it aids in the growth of green and planktonic life.

Yeoman RainguardCopper

These materials are chameleon-like, changing patina over time adding depth and colour to the rainwater system. They are a great choice for structures that are timber clad, oak framed or indeed garden houses whose exteriors also change colour as the wood ages, adding to their beauty.

The attractive patina caused by oxidisation also functions as an exceptional, natural defence against the elements, making them a good choice of material to be used on coastal properties where erosion by the salt in the atmosphere can be a concern.

Copper gutters & downpipes have proven durability having been used successfully for many generations offering an almost unlimited life service.

A natural truly sustainable and 100% recyclable material, copper also acts as an algaecide and fungicide helping to keep moss and lichen growth to a minimum, proving to be a maintenance-free system. It’s also a great choice for those wanting to harvest rainwater.

These rainwater systems are made from lightweight materials and do require a little more care to be taken when delivering and installing, with the use of gloves at all stages a necessity.

Yeoman RainguardAdvice from the experts

Still, confused over which system to select? We’d be happy to talk through your project’s requirements and discuss our recommendations. Get in contact with Yeoman Rainguard on 0113 279 5854,, or download a brochure from

Yeoman RainguardWe hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free feasibility discussion with Alistair. 

Building a Timber Frame Extension


At Acre Design, we love timber frame as a construction method for building an extension. Timber frame construction is great because it can often save you money and it is nice and quick to build. On top of this, it is a sustainable building material. When people are choosing to extend their homes, timber frame is becoming more and more popular in Newcastle and the North East, due to these benefits. It is also becoming a really popular method for constructing new build homes. Masonry is still a favoured choice for many, however we will discuss the pros and cons when compared with timber frame.

What is timber frame construction?

Timber frame is the term for a construction system utilising panelised structural walls and floors. These are constructing using small sections of timber studs, clad with boarding. The timber frame carries the vertical and horizontal loads to the foundations of your home. If you require your structural shell to be erected quickly or if you are expecting poor weather conditions (common in Newcastle), a timber frame is a great solution.

The timber frame can be prefabricated and brought on-site to be erected or using the ‘stick build’ method, your carpenter will construct the frame onsite. Platform frame is the most commonly used method in the UK. Using this method, each storey is framed with floor-to-ceiling height panels and the floor deck of one floor becomes the erection platform of the next.

Unfortunately, you may find it tricky to find a manufacturer who will prefabricate a timber frame for your extension, they tend to prefer to construct whole homes. Extensions tend to require quite a bit more technical input than new builds. However, where very accurate measurements of the existing home are provided, this is sometimes possible. Prefabricated timber frames can also be very costly to transport, which puts a lot of buyers and manufacturers off.

So, the vast majority of extensions in England are built using stick build timber frame construction. The carpenter would then be able to make your panels to suit your project, onsite. Timber frame construction usually requires less deliveries of materials when compared with other methods, this means happier neighbours too!

Environmental impact

Tress lock in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen so are a means of combating global warming. Therefore, if we increase the use of timber in the construction business, we increase the need for tree planting. On the back of this, more carbon dioxide emissions will be absorbed by these trees. Furthermore, timber is a renewable building material – in principle if one tree is felled, another is planted in its place. Hopefully, an increase in the use of this construction method will result in the growth of forests to supply the demand.

The use of bricks and concrete rely on the extraction of finite raw materials. Steel is also less environmentally friendly as it takes far more CO2 to process than timber.


The cost of a timber frame extension is generally lower than where other methods are used. This is mostly because it takes a lot less time to construct, meaning a lot less charge for labour. For builders, it is cheaper to price as the timescale is more predictable as it can be constructed in pretty much any weather conditions – builders don’t have to worry about missing days of work because of the weather. Factory costs and availability are more predictable and fluctuate a lot less with timber. This means you can price your construction a lot more accurately than with other construction methods.

Timber frame strength and suitability

As long as they are designed properly by a good architect, timber frame structures are strong and robust. At Acre Design, our designs ensure that we optimise the amount of material for the required strength. This means that the design is both the most cost efficient and reduces waste materials as much as possible.

Speedy construction

When compared to a brick and block construction, a prefabricated timber frame can come together far faster. Speeding up this part of the process means that your plasterer, electrician and plumber can get started far sooner than they would with brick and block. If you are cladding in dry plasterboard, once the building is watertight, the frame must be left to allow it’s moisture content to stabilise. However, this method is still far quicker than using mortar.

Timber frames can also be constructed in low temperatures, which brick and block work can’t.  Though the architectural design of your timber frame may take more time than the design of a traditional build, meaning a possibly slower start on site if you are in a hurry. Your timber frame structure can be made wind and watertight in a matter of days, as opposed to a number of weeks when other methods are used.

Quality of timber frames

Higher quality can often be achieve with timber frame than that of other construction methods. As it is fabricated off site, the process is done in a controlled, dry and optimum environment. When compared with methods constructed onsite, this generally provides a better quality level as things such as weather, site muck etc. can impact on on-site construction methods. Sometimes, the fabricators will also erect the timber frame on-site, this is really good continuity as they will fully understand your design.

Acoustic performance

You may not get the same level of sound insulation with timber frame structures as you would with concrete or masonry. Timber frame is not as dense. However, you can improve this by constructing two separate wall leaves with a gap between them. This gap can then be filled with sound absorbing material. You could also use a slightly denser material than plasterboard or use more than one layer of plasterboard.

Fire safety with timber frame

Often, there is a perception that timber frame structures are at more risk of fire. All forms of construction need to comply with the fire performance requirements laid down by national building regulations. Timber frame dwellings have no difficulty in meeting the required levels, given correct design, standards of manufacture and workmanship. However, additional fire protection can be added by boarding it. You can also install fire-stops within the cavity to protect your home further.

As long as they are designed and erected safely, meeting the relevant regulations, your timber frame construction would be perfectly fire safe and comparable to other construction methods.

Heat efficiency

The low thermal mass of timber frames allows them to heat up quicker than masonry constructed builds and to cool down a lot quicker too. However, efficient insulation can combat this substantially.

You can increase the insulation by using: deeper solid wood studs or deeper engineered studs, additional layers of insulation (internally and externally). You could also: ensure maximum air tightness is achieved, increase roof insulation, use double and or triple glazed windows, adding floor insulation or using very high quality wall insulation.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative. We would love to discuss your project with you in detail.

Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation at your home!